Thursday, July 06, 2006

A Canoe Paddle Tale From the Wakulla

As mentioned earlier, my husband is on vacation this week. We have been busy doing assorted yardwork at the property we own on the Withlacoochee River, but today we decided to head to the Wakulla with the canoe. I hadn't planned on taking the camera today; I often don't on canoe trips. I did on this one. I didn't take many pictures, just enjoyed the scenery.

We got there about 90 minutes after high tide. There were very few other boats on the river. The first manatee we saw was just a small one, moving downstream as we were going up. We weren't aware of the next one until we were literally on top of it. Fortunately, we just drifted over it--it was a very large one.

There were two more a little farther upstream. Here is an example of "manatee spotting" behavior, as I have described before in this blog.

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You always can tell where the manatees are by the boats hovering in the area. This one was particularly amusing since the woman to the left kept leaning farther and farther over the edge of her kayak in an attempt to pet the manatee. Finally, her companion suggested "Maybe you could let me know when you are going to lean over the edge so I can lean over the other side to help balance us..."

This egret watched us paddle by as we made our way to the upper bridge.

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We got to the boat ramp at the upper bridge and got out for a stretch. There were several people there and about 4 small children swimming in the river. Someone from the canoe/kayak rental place on Hwy 98 arrived with a canoe and kayak and passengers who were doing a one-way float downstream. We headed out shortly after they left.

The wind came up and it was another day of paddling upstream and then paddling downstream as well--very little drifting!

After we got back to the boat ramp and loaded up, we continued west a bit on Hwy 98 and picked up some fresh Gulf shrimp--just brought in this morning--to have for dinner. Vacations are great!

Stand by for the next trip report.

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